Halloween warning over illegal fireworks

Halloween revellers were warned of the dangers posed by black-market fireworks as gardaí vowed all illegal fireworks detected will be immediately seized.

The warning came as gardaí urged people to enjoy official Halloween celebrations and not to get involved in illegal bonfires or black-market firework displays.

Anyone caught supplying such potentially dangerous fireworks could face prosecution.

Gardaí issued a special warning about illegal fireworks, some of which were described as “so dangerous as to be potentially lethal”.

An average of 20 people each year are treated in hospital for firework-related injuries.

Most involve minor burns but Ireland has witnessed several life-changing injuries including the amputation of fingers and hands.

In 2017, a young woman narrowly avoided serious injury when a lit firework was dropped in her hood as a prank. In Northern Ireland, a young woman lost several fingers last year when a lit firework exploded before she could throw it.

Quality control is virtually non-existent, with many black-market fireworks igniting just seconds after fuses are lit.

“The bottom line is that anyone who uses one of these fireworks is a fool. These fireworks are illegal, they are a danger to public health and they can result in the most catastrophic consequences,” a Garda spokesperson warned.

One Chinese firework, called a ‘Black Skorpion’, resembles a miniature howitzer.

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